Best Selling Books by Diane Ackerman

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Jaguar of Sweet Laughter

release date: Jul 27, 2011
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Jaguar of Sweet Laughter
In A Natural History of the Senses Diane Ackerman revealed herself as a naturalist who writes with the sensuous immediately of a great poet. Now Jaguar of Sweet Laughter presents the work of a poet with the precise and wondering eye of a gifted naturalist. Ackermans's Olympian vision records and transforms landscapes from Amazonia to Antarctica, while her imaginative empathy penetrates the otherness of hummingbirds, deer, and trilobites. But even as they draw readers into the wild heart of nature, Ackerman's poems are indelible reminders of what it is to be a human being—the "jaguar of sweet laughter" that, according to Mayan mythology, astonished the world because it was the first animal to speak.

Deep Play

release date: Jun 01, 2011
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Deep Play
With A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman let her free-ranging intellect loose on the natural world. Now in Deep Play she tackles the realm of creativity, by exploring one of the most essential aspects of our characters: the abitlity to play. "Deep play" is that more intensified form of play that puts us in a rapturous mood and awakens the most creative, sentient, and joyful aspects of our inner selves. As Ackerman ranges over a panoply of artistic, spiritual, and athletic activities, from spiritual rapture through extreme sports, we gain a greater sense of what it means to be "in the moment" and totally, transcendentally human. Keenly perceived and written with poetic exuberance, Deep Play enlightens us by revealing the manifold ways we can enhance our lives.

Dawn Light

release date: Aug 24, 2010
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Dawn Light
Draws on a diverse range of sources from meteorology and religion to history and organic farming to introduce readers to bird music and other signs of avian intelligence, in a series of meditations that describe the author's migration-copying travels between New York and Florida.

Lady Faustus

release date: Jan 01, 1983
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Lady Faustus
Poems portray the author's experiences and explore a variety of themes, including dreams, flight, music and sports

I Praise My Destroyer

release date: Jul 27, 2011
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I Praise My Destroyer
Diane Ackerman's poems reveal her intense response to the several worlds of nature, science, and society. Her lyricism fuses wit and sobriety, meditation and activism, and she confronts us with figures both real and fantastic. As always, her strong connection with the natural world, the realms of language and literature, myth and imagination, combines with her deep understanding of the sciences to offer her readers a singular American voice. This is not a voice crying in the wilderness, but one that gives forth songs of joy and wonder. Organized into seven sections, including "Timed Talk," "By Atoms Moved," and "Tender Mercies," I Praise My Destroyer is less an assorted collection than an organically coherent whole, one that reveals Ackerman's true calling as a twentieth-century metaphysical poet of the highest order.

A Natural History of the Senses

release date: Dec 07, 2011
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A Natural History of the Senses
Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. “Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.” —The New York Times

On Extended Wings

release date: Jan 01, 1987
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On Extended Wings
The author explains why flying is so important to her, despite its dangers and the difficulties she faced learning to fly

The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us

release date: Sep 10, 2014
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The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us
Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and the PEN New England Henry David Thoreau Prize. A dazzling, inspiring tour through the ways that humans are working with nature to try to save the planet. With her celebrated blend of scientific insight, clarity, and curiosity, Diane Ackerman explores our human capacity both for destruction and for invention as we shape the future of the planet Earth. Ackerman takes us to the mind-expanding frontiers of science, exploring the fact that the "natural" and the "human" now inescapably depend on one another, drawing from "fields as diverse as evolutionary robotics…nanotechnology, 3-D printing and biomimicry" (New York Times Book Review), with probing intelligence, a clear eye, and an ever-hopeful heart.

An Alchemy of Mind

release date: Oct 30, 2012
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An Alchemy of Mind
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Zookeeper's Wife, an ambitious and enlightening work that combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate, as never before, the magic and mysteries of the human mind. Long treasured by literary readers for her uncommon ability to bridge the gap between art and science, celebrated scholar-artist Diane Ackerman returns with the book she was born to write. Her dazzling new work, An Alchemy of Mind, offers an unprecedented exploration and celebration of the mental fantasia in which we spend our days—and does for the human mind what the bestselling A Natural History of the Senses did for the physical senses. Bringing a valuable female perspective to the topic, Diane Ackerman discusses the science of the brain as only she can: with gorgeous, immediate language and imagery that paint an unusually lucid and vibrant picture for the reader. And in addition to explaining memory, thought, emotion, dreams, and language acquisition, she reports on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and addresses controversial subjects like the effects of trauma and male versus female brains. In prose that is not simply accessible but also beautiful and electric, Ackerman distills the hard, objective truths of science in order to yield vivid, heavily anecdotal explanations about a range of existential questions regarding consciousness, human thought, memory, and the nature of identity.

The Gardener's Bedside Reader

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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